Palm Beach County: Voting without Chad in 2012 - Searcy Denney

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John Hopkins

2012 Voting in Palm Beach County Without "Chad"

» Written by // October 10, 2012 //


The good news is there will be no “hanging chads” this year in Palm Beach County.

The bad news is we now know that the absentee ballots will be not only lengthy, but based on what is known so far, it is going to be confusing.

The Supervisor of Elections allowed over 60,000 absentee ballots to be mailed out to Palm Beach County residents that were flawed. The supervisor caught the problem and submitted a revision to the printer, but allegedly the printer still sent the incorrect ballots.

What is flawed? Each section of the ballot has headings separating the various offices for which voters are casting their ballots. So, for example, the race for President & Vice President has a very clear heading that identifies the office and lists candidate choices. Immediately following that section is a new heading identifying the office of senator and then lists the senatorial choices.

The ballot proceeds like this, in a reasonably orderly fashion, until it gets to the merit retention vote for Supreme Court Justices Lewis, Pariente, and Quince. At that section, the ballot seems to merge from Tax Collector to the Supreme Court Justices, with no real differentiation.

The ballot is long, the type is small and the candidates are many; so any wrinkle can create problems. I mean little did I know that we would have not two or three choices for president, but 12 choices for the office of president (including comedienne Roseann Barr).

So, if you are voting by absentee ballot in Palm Beach County, let’s try to avoid press pictures of balding heads bent over tables trying to discern voters’ intentions. If you have questions, call the Supervisor of Elections office and ask questions until you receive sufficient answers. Their telephone number is 561-656-6200 and the website for the supervisor is: http://www.pbcelections.org

Many people are voting by absentee ballot and we all want each voters’ ballot to count so in addition to carefully reviewing your ballot and read the instructions included with the absentee ballot.

Here are the instructions on the Supervisor’s website:

It is imperative that when you vote by absentee ballot, you follow the instructions included with your absentee ballot very carefully!  Detailed instructions are provided on the actual absentee ballots, as well as special instructions on the secrecy sleeve enclosed in the absentee ballot kit mailed to you.  A voter must personally vote the ballot, unless assistance is required due to disability or inability to read/write.

Remember to sign your “Voter’s Certificate Envelope” or your vote will not be counted!


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